Halfmoon town Supervisor Melinda “Mindy” Wormuth plans to keep campaigning for re-election after being passed over for an endorsement by her party’s leadership in favor of former Town Justice Kevin Tollisen.
Wormuth said Wednesday she hasn’t made a final decision on whether to force a primary against Tollisen, but she believes she has support in the community, and she had already started fundraising for her campaign in January.
In her last campaign finance filing with the state Board of Elections in January, Wormuth had $19,549 in the bank.
“The people of Halfmoon voted me in three times,” she said. “It’s the people of the community who are going to make the final decision.”
Wormuth has been supervisor since 2007, when she was appointed upon Supervisor Kevin DeCerce’s resignation. She was elected to the post that fall.
Wormuth noted that the Halfmoon Republican Committee vote last week for Tollisen was not unanimous, and she still has support on the committee as well as among the public.
Tollisen said he’s gotten a lot of support since the endorsement as well.
“Many, many people have come up to me when they’ve seen me.”
The Mechanicville lawyer said Wednesday he wasn’t surprised that Wormuth plans to run. “I have thought all along that she probably would proceed to a primary,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a very vigorous campaign.”
A primary would take place in September and the supervisor will be elected in November for a two-year term.
Tollisen resigned from his part-time post as justice at the town at the beginning of the month so he could seek the party’s endorsement and run for supervisor.
He was formerly on the Town Board; Wormuth was appointed to serve out the rest of his term when he was elected justice in 2002.
She served on the Town Board until she was appointed supervisor.
Tollisen served on the Town Board from 1998 until 2002.
He said Wednesday he planned to focus in his campaign on making sure the growing town is being developed in a way that retains a good quality of life for residents rather than focusing on recent criticism of Wormuth.
Wormuth was criticized a year ago for selling two properties to a local developer. She came under fire again last month at the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for voting to appoint a 22-year-old woman as director of the county animal shelter after supporting the woman with a personal reference and receiving campaign funds several years ago from the woman’s father.
Wormuth defended her actions in both cases, and she was never cited by any town or county ethics committee.
If there is a Republican primary, the unsuccessful candidate could end up on the general election ballot as well by getting a third-party nomination.
Democrats plan to run a candidate for supervisor but haven’t picked one yet, said Todd Kerner, chairman of the Saratoga County Democratic Committee. The committee usually makes endorsements in May, in advance of gathering petition signatures, which starts in early June.
Town resident Deanna Stephenson has expressed interest in running for “a local government position” but said Wednesday she hadn’t made a decision yet. She unsuccessfully challenged Wormuth in 2011.